When Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged in May 2013 his party‘s military involvement in the Syrian conflict, it marked a watershed moment for an organization that previously had promoted itself as a champion of the downtrodden and the pan-Arab cause. In siding with an autocrat at war with his own people, the party became liable to accusations of ideological corruption from both within and without the Lebanese Shia community—its core constituency. To fix this unfavorable perception, the party has initiated a broad-based communicative effort that reframes the Syrian conflict through a narrative of threat and fear. This thesis sheds light on Hezbollah's use of fear as a political tool as both a textual and a social phenomenon: textual in that the fear is transmitted through a particular discourse, and social in that the discourse shapes social relations. Specifically, the thesis answers two interrelated questions: How is Hezbollah discursively constructing its involvement in the Syrian conflict? And to what extent is that discourse conducive to a culture of fear in the Lebanese Shia community? I give a detailed analysis of Hezbollah's rhetoric about the Syrian civil war by subjecting a number of speeches by Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah to a directed content analysis. I identify three overarching themes that permeate the discourse: Manichaeism, the idea of a new "super threat", and hawkishness. I then offer a social analysis of the Lebanese Shia community undergirded by interviews conducted with key informants that possess personal and general knowledge about the subject. By examining this particular social phenomenon, I contribute to the knowledge about how perception is crafted into reality through discursive processes, and how discourse dictates social relations. The resulting paper yields an analysis of meaningful, underlying trends in the Lebanese Shia community. I conclude that Hezbollah uses political fear as a vehicle for social control: Fear disciplines domestic dissent, makes the perceived strength of the in-group vital to personal safety, and polarizes intersectarian relations.